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Poster: woodyy Date: Feb 10, 2005 12:22am
Forum: prelinger Subject: vocal/music rights on Prelinger films

If I am using clips of Archive Prelinger picture with soundtrack in an internet presentation of my own for which I may (hopefully) be paid, do I have to separately clear composer and music performance rights? For example, A greatl piece of fifties animation called,' Man of Action' here has a cool blusey track from Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. If I use some of that as underscore in my own piece would I be violating anyone's copyright, if it is properly attributed? This might not be an issue while I am just hosting it on my own site for free, but even online filmfestivals are very strict on submission of clearances.
Should I generally avoid using the audio unless it is strictly just 'fair use' stuff? Thanks!

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Poster: FP Date: Feb 10, 2005 9:59pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: vocal/music rights on Prelinger films

I'm not a copyright lawyer.

That said, music (and certain likenesses and trademarks) can be risky to use even if they are taken from films that have ostensibly fallen into the public domain.

I would assume that the Blakely track is protected by music publishing rights and performance rights. There are one or two central clearinghouses that research and secure musical clearances - for a fee.

Non-commercial, private work on someone's own low-traffic site has traditionally been ignored by rights-holders, even when that work violates copyright. However, anyone holding the rights to any part of that work can, at any time, choose to enforce them legally. That could be at best annoying, and at worst extremely expensive.

Films in the open source archive are all over the map as far as this goes. There have been some films here that featured relatively current music on their soundtracks, and those films have been removed for that reason. Other films that use obviously infringing soundtracks have been allowed to remain. Who decides? I dunno.

In my opinion, it's best to be careful when appropriating work that may be owned by a huge corporation with a legal staff the size of a small city.

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Poster: woodyy Date: Feb 10, 2005 11:57pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: vocal/music rights on Prelinger films

THANKS! ...I'll do that

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Poster: Tamlin Date: Mar 9, 2005 10:21pm
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: vocal/music rights on Prelinger films

The uberformula is:
Estimated revenue - cost of retrieval=legal action.
The greater the figure the more likely the action. Sometimes even little firms, or individuals, will demand payment, especially if in comparison it seems lucrative.

Other factors:
Zero Tolerance which means you play hardball w/ small guys not because you care, but because you don't want to give other people the idea they can copy freely-which could create a tidal wave-eg; napster
Q factor- "Brands" are created at huge expense to have associative connections in peoples minds-anything that interupts the sales pitch, irregardless of truth or immediate financial aspects would be quashed.
& er, morally, if someone is making something freely available and you transform it verbatum into a commercial product, eg: charging something beyond other then transferral fees, that's a no-no. Personally I question the wisdom of chosing "no-derivs", but it's a valid option, especially if you are afraid someone will misquote or distort.
In music, doing a cover version often helps the orig - if and only if the orig has been forgotten. But another factor is when the established order co-ops the new thing. Pat Boone does Little Richard & thereby helps himself & hurts the original.
Across the board, in many fields, in the US at least, the paradigm has shifted from getting your product out to preventing the other guy from getting their product out.
It reminds me of the old cowboy movies where the bad guy wants to control water rights, or grazing rights and a range war ensues.
It's hard to tell someone who likes to eat and have shelter to forgo charging money for their labor, but it is a war and no sane person fights for the paycheck. We fight in the hope that someday the opposition, in the congress, in the multinationals, the networks, will surrender- maybe not unconditionally, but enough to start a homestead- an option which is not available to us now.


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